Among the most common causes of back pain are injury, osteoarthritis, and bulging discs. Depending on how it is treated, back pain can turn chronic. For this reason, always seek medical attention for back pain, especially if it occurs suddenly and is accompanied by tingling or weakness in the lower extremities.
It is better to have your back evaluated by a medical professional for accurate and timely diagnosis and treatment. Treatment for back pain can consist of different therapies, one of which is exercise therapy.
Below are exercises doctors often recommend to relieve back pain. If you suffer from back pain, always consult a doctor first before starting exercise.
Core Strengthening Exercises
The stronger your core muscles are, the easier it is to keep your spine in alignment. The core muscles also include the muscles around the lower back. If they are weak, they become tight, cause pain, and are more prone to injury. Try these:
- Partial crunches. Lie back and keep your feet flat on the mat, with your knees bent. Place your hands behind your head, and keep your abdominal muscles tight. Inhale and slowly lift your shoulders from the mat, breathing out as you raise your shoulders. Hold for a second, then slowly lower yourself back on the floor. Repeat at least eight times.
- Side Planks. Lie on the floor with your forearm on the mat, your shoulder above your elbow, and your hips touching the mat. Keep your legs together and one foot on top of the other. Slowly lift your body, keeping your abdominal muscles tight, so that you form a side plank position. Move your hips up and down at least six times on each side.
While on the mat, you can also do your hamstring stretches, as tight hamstrings affect back support and cause lower back pain. To do this, lie on your back with one knee bent. Then, place a towel around the heel of the other foot that is not on the ground. Pull back on this towel with hands on both ends, slowly straightening the knee. You should feel a stretch along the back of the leg. Hold the position for at least 15 seconds. Repeat at least five times then switch to the other leg.
Back Strengthening Exercise
A mid-back extension exercise strengthens the back muscles. Lie stomach-down on the mat and take a deep breath. Keeping your abdominal muscles tight, slowly lift the abs away from the mat. Slowly pull the shoulders back, exhaling as you do this. Inhale as you go back down to the mat. Repeat at least six times.
Other exercises that can build stronger back and spine, core, and hamstring muscles through gentle movements are yoga, Pilates, and tai chi. As with any exercise, consult a professional to guide you through the movements of each exercise safely and effectively.
Spine Doctor in West Jersey
If back pain continues to bother you despite stretching and strengthening exercises, better consult a spine surgeon who can offer you many treatment options. Dr. Spielman at Orthopedic Associates of West Jersey is one of the best orthopedic spine surgeons in New Jersey.
Dr. Spielman will always recommend nonsurgical methods whenever possible. However, if spine surgery becomes necessary, he is exceptionally skilled and experienced at what he does. To have your back evaluated by a spine surgeon, call our clinic at (973) 989-0888 to make an appointment or use our convenient online form to send a request. We look forward to helping quickly relieve your back pain.